A few weeks ago, I took my family to visit one of my favorite places. A place that reminds me of “all that once was good and could be again!” Of course, I am talking about Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.
As my family was driving home at dusk through beautiful Iowa countryside, I was thinking about the final message Ray Kinsella (played by actor Kevin Costner) received from “the voice” at a pivotal moment in the film: Go the distance.
Ray was within days, perhaps hours, of losing everything – his farm, his family’s livelihood, his reputation – all because he said “yes”, and continued to say “yes”, to the promptings of the voice that ultimately revealed why he plowed over his rich cropland to build a baseball field: to have a catch with his father who passed away years before he had the chance to reconcile his relationship and share a moment together in the game they both loved.
Throughout the film, Ray never quit. His purpose was clear. Ray chose to go the distance.
Each of us is faced with challenges, setbacks and struggles, both in our personal lives and professional lives, that test us, that deepen us, that stretch us, that transform us to go the distance if we want to achieve something greater than we could have imagined.
This is no different in our executive search work. One of the commitments we make to our clients is we do not stop until we get the search done. In other words, we do not quit when it gets difficult – and it does get difficult – to attract, recruit and place top talent.
Recently, we celebrated a successful placement for a new client that required the candidate to relocate his family to rural Nebraska. There were several other key ingredients that were critical to success, such as visionary / strategic leadership, strong culture fit, people management experience and proven industry and technical expertise.
The work required our team to research more than 2,000 people, initiate 650 marketplace contacts, engage with 150 potential candidates, and ultimately, interview, qualify and refine our talent pipeline down to 7 finalists for our client to interview, select and hire one candidate.
Upon successful completion, our team reflected on this fulfilling journey and achievement. I remember saying to my teammate and executive recruiting partner who faithfully served our client, “You know, we really do live out our commitment. We do not just say it. We pour out everything until it is finished.” Her response was simply, “Yes. And it is always worth it.”
Our commitment is tested every time we say “yes” and begin a new executive search assignment. It is tested at every stage throughout the entire process, and especially, when it can be difficult to see the end in sight.
Is your organization willing to go the distance to attract the right people? For us, the answer is yes. And it is always worth it in the end.